Instances of corporate PC

A topic which pervades many others

Instances of corporate PC

Postby Gavin » 01 Oct 2014, 17:44

I was just leaving the offices of a large corporation today when on my way out I spotted that one of the meeting rooms had been arranged for a lecture and there was a projector all set up. I noticed this because my eyes followed the path that a tattooed woman had taken as she left the room. Looking at the screen I saw the title of the lecture to be delivered:

"Encouraging Diversity and Young Talent"


I see a lot of instances like this and will try to catalogue them here. It's really quite frightening what you see sometimes, the way money is being spent simply to justify people's otherwise pointless jobs (jobs which require no special skills, hard work or - indeed - any talent).

As I'm sure we have all noticed, it often seems that the more people are paid the less actual technical skill they need to have. This is supposedly because they are paid for responsibility instead, but - in the public sector certainly - they usually pass the buck and refuse to resign when they should. Such is modern corruption. I see private PC and customers' money being wasted on this nonsense, but it is far worse when it is happening in the public sector, and it seems the problem is far more rampant there.

Anyway, back to this ridiculous title. "Diversity" doesn't need encouraging because it is happening anyway, and it is in any case arguably a very bad thing: you don't need diversity if you have things right in the first place. In fact diversity (especially diversity for diversity's sake) can be ruinous. Nor do you really need to "encourage young talent". That'll just happen anyway if the person is talented.

I'd like to be promoted up into management because I would refuse to use stupid jargon, cliches and PC-speak and would just deal in reality and facts, while being at all times courteous. These policies would seem to disqualify me from achieving such positions, however - that's really how it is.

A woman has just joined this company in a very senior position and we all dialled into a conference call to hear what she had to say. Her speech was replete with all the usual management jargon while being bereft of any discernible facts. She's come over from the public sector - let's hope the company survives...
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Re: Instances of corporate PC

Postby Nathan » 01 Oct 2014, 19:08

Thankfully I don't work for a corporation and hopefully never will again, but I do get a copy of the translation industry's main journal delivered to me every couple of months which can get just as preachy as the Guardian, so I might as well chronicle some of its finest offerings here too.

From the September/October edition:

When the term 'negro' was - quite rightly - ousted from common usage, it was replaced with 'coloured', which - having also become offensive - was replaced with 'black', which was replaced with 'Afro-Caribbean' in the UK and 'Afro-American' in the US, the latter more recently with 'African American'. I daresay, unless black and white both come to perceive themselves as truly equal in the future, we'll witness further euphemisms for people of other racial origins replacing the current ones.


I love the way that words just 'become offensive' without any element of agency at all, and I love it too how the person who wrote that just automatically assumes that black and white people don't perceive themselves as equal (who exactly does the author have in mind, I wonder?).

Next time I come across an article about how languages are sexist because they have grammatical gender I'll post it in here, though I think I might have to wait a while before these equality-at-all-costs diversity fans set their sights on the dreadful gender imbalance in the translation profession, being dominated by women as it is by at least two to one.
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Re: Instances of corporate PC

Postby Paul » 01 Oct 2014, 22:14

Don't we have enough diversity of our own anyway, a surprising amount for such a small country as England? Just why do we need foreign diversity?

Fifty miles can be a long way in England. The locals could talk entirely differently, both by accent and by dialect or local 'slang' words. The customs and traditions can be unique (though they may by now be known elsewhere), the local folklore unique and the local cuisine can have specialties, some very famous.

I can travel but twenty miles West and meet 'Scousers', who some might think were of a different species even! If I travel twenty miles East I meet Yorkshiremen. Now they are a different species. They even have their own Gods, tis reputed. Chorley cakes, Eccles cakes, Bakewell tarts, all within a short car journey. Black Puddings from Bury. Even the Queen likes them so I've heard. Why do we need foreign things? If we want them, we would travel to those countries and spend our money there.

Then there's Wales, Ireland and Scotland (just). Foreign enough for us.

Having said all that, I've just made a beef curry!
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Re: Instances of corporate PC

Postby Gavin » 04 Nov 2014, 19:03

I'm a contractor for a large company. I was shocked today when a friend of mine who is a full-time employee of the company showed me that he was obliged to complete several courses if he expected to keep his job. These courses had nothing to do with computer programming; they were a level of PC you would barely believe existed in reality and outside satire:

One course, which he had to complete online, was called "Diversity and Inclusion". This explained the company's policy on these topics. Needless to say, it was very pro "diversity" (regardless of what kind it was or where is was from, apparently) and wanted to include diversity as much as possible. My friend reads The Guardian and is not up to speed on matters as forum readers will be, but he's a nice guy and can recognise some PC when he sees it. So we both mocked these ridiculous tests he was obliged to take, as did passers by (males ones, at least).

We live in an age where outright rudeness and crassness is perfectly acceptable (see, for example, Brand or the vulgarian Frankie Boyle) but any serious questioning of PC assumptions is utterly beyond the pale. That's surely the definition of an age of decadence and it's what makes me think that if our society were faced with another world war, I don't know if we could effectively even fight, let alone win it.

Anyway, back to the course: Diversity & Inclusion. I really wanted a copy of it so I could show you the pictures, but of course the first page showed lots of people, all of different races, all smiling happily. This is not what I actually see at work. People get on reasonably well, but no-one is delighted to be at work, and it's striking how when given the choice the different ethnicities all mix primarily with their own kind. This is most obvious in the canteen. Leftists: are all of the Indians who sit together racists? Multiculturalism sows division.

The online test consisted of a slideshow, a bit like PowerPoint, instructing the reader how to think about diversity and inclusion and then tested how well this information had sunk in at the end. One question was "What does diversity mean?" One optional answer was "Political correctness" (!) but the "correct" one was "Respecting people's differences". Presumably it didn't matter what those differences were, you just had to respect them.

The company explained that it views diversity as “a strength” and “an advantage”. No explanation was given as to exactly how or why this is so (nor how Japan can function so efficiently without more diversity). I found several people online who were "Diversity and Inclusion Officers" for the company - all women. One was obviously not sufficient for this vital role - yet if there was no diversity there would be no need for these “officers”. Look at the spectacular skill-set of one of them:

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 18.15.54 1.png


Not one of these is a real skill, yet this woman is probably paid more than I am.

The quiz went on to explain that discrimination is wrong, saying for example that a policy of requiring staff to wear trousers would be wrong “because it might discriminate against people’s religious beliefs”. Likewise, it explained, a policy on height might discriminate against women (and as we all know, this is the worst sin of all!).

One of the most disturbing parts of this thing was when it asked what counts as offensive. Is something offensive when the intention behind it is malicious, or when a person simply says they find it so? The think-right answer is the very same one that Dalrymple identified as utterly wrong.

I managed to see some other parts of the test. Little videos were played showing instances of crime-think and then the test asked the employee how people should have acted. One showed an Indian man who was complaining about a gay man blatantly “checking him out”. I thought to myself, yes, that is indeed sexism at work. Think again! Homophobia trumps sexism if the sexism is against men. The man at fault was the Indian. Were it a lesbian eyeing up a woman, I’m not sure how that one would go in the PC trumps - maybe we can consider it. Or a gay man eyeing up a black man?

Needless to say, a man looking at a woman for a moment too long could well land him in trouble, despite the fact than many now dress in the workplace as if they are at nightclubs (I will write an article about this another time).

Another instance of crime-think was a fictional older man who objected to working with homosexuals because it was supposedly against his Christian beliefs (no mention at all of Muslims!). He was also guilty. As it happens there is indeed a very loud camp person at my work who is very off-putting when I’m trying to work, but were I to complain then I would no doubt be told this is his nature, it is part and parcel of being gay, and I should not be so homophobic. More likely, I’d just be quietly dismissed, regardless of the quality of my work.

The test went on to explain that one should never discuss religion or politics at work (due to diversity) and one should be aware of religious holidays. The only good thing about the test was its technical construction, but as TD has said, great skill deployed in creating something horrible always seems particularly immoral. I’d have faced a challenge if I had been asked to create that.

Completing this test took my colleague at least an hour. He tried not to read any of it but cut and pasted the text for later reference when it came to the quiz part. I thought it was an affront that he had to do the test at all. But then, it is in fact probably at least as much for the foreigners working within the company, and not just for us natives. In other words, if it was not for diversity, this industry would simply not be needed and a great deal of money could be saved.

The score at the end of the test attempted to determine whether the employee had properly absorbed company policy on diversity and inclusion, or whether, presumably, they had to undergo further conditioning. It was all both risible and sinister. Eventually my friend passed the test and then he had to prepare for the next one: “Compliance”.
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Re: Instances of corporate PC

Postby Paul » 04 Nov 2014, 20:49

Good Lord - what? How horrible.

I watched a similarly-themed You Tube video recently about the actuality of the workplace as now exists in modern Britain. It also quite shocked me. You kind of know these things (or I do) in passing, but it's not something I ever (or have ever) had to really contemplate. And the phenomenon has moved forward so swiftly too. How in fact does one keep up with it, even if one is within the corporate sphere? Quite obviously one doesn't - hence the need for constant 're-training'.

And it's not just the corporate sphere either, as the video pointed out and as I have more knowledge and observation. The trades are similarly infected, insofar as the trades still exist.

A friend of mine owns a fencing company and a wood yard (timber supplies, joinery work). He employs about a dozen, I think. The regulations for H & S and for requirements on sites (for home-building companies) is so onerous and so demanding, as to cost him several hundred pounds (at least) per employee and at regular intervals. They have to keep going on courses, all kinds of them, although mainly H & S I presumed. This information he told me is now about five years old. Obviously it will have got far worse. Now, the lorry driver who delivers the timber to building sites, will, in addition to knowing all the driving and loading and unloading (and documentation) requirements, and the site protocol (how to carry a bag of sand or correctly operate a wheelbarrow!), will also now have to know what to do if he sees an immigrant eyeing up a transgendered and cross-dressed building inspector who is holding his (her?) clipboard in an unsafe manner.

An upshot of this expensive lunacy, for my friend and as he explained, is if a member of staff decides to move on. One might wonder at this, given unemployment, but apparently it can be so. They're not necessarily the jobs that people wish to do (or can handle) these days, for too long. Some of it is 'young man's work', especially the concrete side of things and digging holes in the ground.

The problem is that it might have cost a few thousand pounds to keep the chap 'trained' and if he departs, and a newcomer replaces him, another slew of money needs to be spent to get the new chap up to speed (even if he's arrived from a similar background and has already been 'trained'). What has ended up happening is my friend has employed the services of a 3rd party company who have themselves taken over the contractual arrangements with the employees and (in his words) 'tied the employees down' to keeping their jobs. (I don't know for the life of me how this is legal). If the employee does leave, then this 3rd party cover the expense of re-training a new employee. In addition, they are, allegedly, continually abreast of regulations and requirements and advise accordingly. These regulations are changing sometimes daily, allegedly. This service costs (or did five years ago) just short of ten thousand pounds per year, and covers all employees. I was gobsmacked even then. I'm still not sure I believe it fully.

He does however have at least some long-term employees, English chaps. But otherwise, his best two were, he told me back then, two immigrants. One an Estonian and the other Polish. Both of them always desired overtime and turned up in any weather, ready to go. He may have been slightly grudging or rueful and said it quietly, but he was certain. They were his most ardent workers. We must make of that what we will.

It's obvious that a huge amount of money is being spent (wasted?) on the creation of a whole lot of non-jobs for a class of people (or section of the economy) that otherwise wouldn't exist. The cost of it all is being passed on to the end consumer. the entire house of sand is itself just about propping up the economy as a whole, to the otherwise detriment of us all. If all this nonsense were swept away (and so it should) where would all those people go to find work? I'm afraid they would all have to go on the dole.

My brother experiences this all the time too. He spends a few thousand pounds per year on 'courses'. All to keep Marxists and immigrants in jobs - is one way of looking at it.

In a way now, we're in an even worse state than the old Soviet regimes. Granted we have not (yet) got the gulags and the secret police (or have we?), though the regular police don't seem to be on our side. But we've got the whole double-speak and intrusion and topsy-turvy thinking in almost everything - plus, we're also being indoctrinated out of patriotism and national pride and we have mass immigration. Even the Soviets didn't have the last two.
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Re: Instances of corporate PC

Postby Gavin » 07 Nov 2014, 21:40

I mentioned this loud, camp person at my work. He paints his nails and wears all manner of bracelets etc. I don't really care about that, but his loud manner does annoy me when I'm trying to work. Anyway, he turned up today wearing this t-shirt:

Image

Unfortunately I sit opposite him so I hear the constant conversation all day and see him right up close all the time, but I thought this was really something else. After I while I actually found this t-shirt quite offensive, because of its implication that I was not already "over it", or that I even cared in the least.

Its bullying, hectoring tone was forced upon anyone who even saw it and it was quite clearly some kind of political/sexual statement in the workplace. Needless to say I would have been instantly sacked and possibly prosecuted had I turned up in some t-shirt saying "I don't personally like homosexuality, get over it!", or even "Islam is NOT a religion of peace". Probably also "Some people are hetero, get over it!", or anything else you can think of. Yet because it was right-on PC, this t-shirt was not only acceptable, but if anyone had dared even comment on it, they would likely have faced disciplinary procedures.

That's PC for you. A friend of mine thinks this individual is preparing the way to come back as a full-blown transexual in the new year. I guess we'll soon tell - he probably won't be quiet about it.

That's probably what irks these attention seekers: no-one actually cares. I couldn't care less what he is - it's the shouting about it that is very annoying and babyish. But the double standards and PC from companies, that's more nefarious.
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Re: Instances of corporate PC

Postby Jonathan » 09 Nov 2014, 23:07

I've also encountered a version of this PC culture at work, while working in a large American corporation. The main theme was sexual harassment, not racism (Israel doesn't suffer from the same racial fixation as the USA).

My memory may be acting as a magnifying glass, but from what I recall, anything which any woman didn't like could trigger a complaint; any complaint was was proven by virtue of it having been made; any manager receiving a complaint had to pass it up the chain of command without applying his own judgment; any adverse consequence to that woman (whether social, work-related, or imaginary) would be considered retaliation and be punished.

The new orthodoxy was imposed by a series of nauseating online indoctrination tests, in which you had to regurgitate the platitudes you had pretended to read in the previous six slides. The reactions of the employees were quite uniform: everyone skipped through the text and guessed at the answers; everyone passed; everyone shook their heads in horror.

The intention, of course, was to sufficiently intimidate men in positions of power from exploiting that power, and this it did very well. The side effect, of course, was that casual friendships with female employees could no longer be taken for granted.

Happily enough, since the policy was imposed on an existing company, most of us were already friends with each other and nothing much changed. But everyone was worried about the moment some girl would lodge an unjustified complaint (a justified one would have been another matter entirely) and change the group dynamics for everyone. No such moment came during the two years or so that I worked there, much to the relief of everyone.

I should add that in the ten years before the policy was imposed, three couples who met at work wound up married, including one where the woman was in a subordinate position to the man. The number of sexual harassment cases was zero.
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Re: Instances of corporate PC

Postby Gavin » 03 Dec 2014, 15:26

In my experience, a disproportionate amount of women in IT are either lesbians or actually men (transsexuals). This isn’t surprising - being inclined towards technical subjects is a more masculine trait.

At my current workplace, the transexual whom I have previously mentioned recently sent an e-mail to everyone announcing that his “journey” to become “a woman” will enter a new phase in the new year, when he wil come to work dressed as a woman and will presumably have undergone surgery. What chilled me was the mention in the e-mail that “I trust you will all refer to me as ‘she’ in line with our diversity policy”.

I feel sorry for someone who has this problem - it must be a very serious problem if someone wants to have surgery to try to imitate the opposite sex. However, personally I will not regard this person as a woman, but as a man who is effeminate and who has a chemical/hormonal imbalance (and who has had some kind of surgery). I will always think “he” when I look at him, as I did with the transexual in my last programming environment. But if I say “he" I will be hauled in front of diversity officers and probably dismissed.

Another point is that this person is loud, patronising and (I think) unprofessional. Skilled developers keep leaving his team, and I know why. This is bad for the company, but if they want to do anything about it they had better be fast. Can you imagine what would happen if they objected in any way to him once he has undergone his full transformation? I would think such a person would be virtually impossible to sack or discipline at all. Any attempt would be immediately alleged to be “discrimination”.

The bottom line is that I am actually not interested in any way at all whether this person is, or wants to be, a man or a woman, but I do expect them to be professional. The the one is forced on me while the other is denied. This is political correctness once again.
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